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Casilla's hit in 12th seals AL Central for Twins, collapse for Tigers

Big League Stew

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Considering how wonderfully the Tigers and Twins played the last game of Major League Baseball's regular season, the playoffs have a seemingly impossible task.

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What happens next can't possibly top what happened at the Metrodome on Tuesday night. Can it?

Inside the only baseball stadium left standing that gives a true home-field advantage, the Twins willed their way to a 6-5 victory in 12 innings, taking AL Central championship and assuring themselves a spot in the postseason tournament against, heh, the New York Yankees. Even if swept in the ALDS, the Twins' fate is better than what's in store for the Tigers, victims of perhaps the biggest collapse in major league history. No team ever had led the division on May 10 and then lost it in the season's last week. They have the whole winter to weep and wonder what went so very wrong.

The rest of us, if we were lucky enough to watch it on TBS, on the Internet or in person, can simply celebrate one of the richest, most exciting baseball games ever played. It had everything. Goats and heroes. Great plays and awful ones. Redemption and ruination. Almost never a dull moment and if there were, they lasted just long enough for everyone to catch his or her breath.

Some noted in the early going there was no way the Metrodome was as loud as during the 1991 World Series, or in '87. The stadium, scheduled to be replaced next season, was just getting warmed up. How many people lost their voices, hearing or minds by the time Alexi Casilla(notes) ended Game No. 163 with an RBI single?

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